ETUCE and EFEE meet for their working group meeting on general education


On 08 March 2022, delegates from European education trade unions and education employers met for the ESSDE Working Group to discuss:

  • recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Education (in terms of innovation, changes in pedagogical approach, lesson learnt, governance);
  • Enhancing and promoting gender equality in and through education as a contribution to economic, social, and education recovery;
  • Debating education social partner input to the Interim Report of the European Commission Expert Group on Quality Investments in Education and Training.

At the very beginning of the discussion, ETUCE and EFEE adopted a joint public message on the war in Ukraine, denouncing the Russian aggression and calling for solidarity with Ukrainian people.

Starting from the presentation by Michael Teutsch, DG EAC, European Commission, the European Social Partners in Education called for preparing students and education personnel to cope with the fast changes in terms of sustainable quality education, innovation tools, fairness and equal opportunities, inclusive teaching and learning methodologies. As an opportunity to exchange ideas starting from different experiences in the COVID-19 pandemic, ETUCE delegates identified areas for change to be adopted: mental well-being for teachers and students, working conditions and salaries, innovation to ensure quality education for all.

In the subsequent discussion, the European Social Partners in Education confirmed their commitment to the promotion of inclusion, equity and equal opportunities for women and men in and through education as a basis of a tolerant, peaceful and democratic society. Irene Rioboo-Leston, European Institute for Gender Equality, outlined meaningful data and important challenges in the path to gender equality. The Social Partners in Education adopted their joint statement recognising their vital role in enhancing gender equality in education as a key factor for attracting qualified and committed workers to the teaching profession and improving its status and perception in society. ETUCE and EFFE committed to addressing gender stereotypes, enhancing the recognition and value of women’s work in all education sectors, and eliminating gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace.

 It is vital to exploit the potential of social dialogue further to enhance gender equality in education. Education is crucial in building a sustainable and peaceful future based on equal opportunities for women and men free of violence and harassment. We, the European Social Partners in Education, have responsibility in creating that future”, said Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director.

Rossella Cravetto, DG EAC, European Commission, updated the ESSDE delegates on the Interim Report of the Expert Group on Quality Investment in Education and Training. The aim of this initiative is to provide member states with guidance for the investment of the significant resources mobilised for education in the national recovery and resilience funds and in the framework of the Next Generation EU. A Commission Learning Lab is to assure continuous monitoring of national public investments in education. ETUCE delegates pointed out that a mere cost-benefit analysis is totally insufficient to assess the weight of investment in education and that, above all, the quality of a single investment should be linked to a holistic vision of education and training and to the promotion of public spending as a consequent application of the objectives of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The delegates mandated the ETUCE and EFEE secretariats to outline a common contribution to the European Commission by the end of March.